What there is to know
- Mojave Maxine Emergence competition is open at Living Desert Zoo and Gardens in Palm Desert
- The famous desert turtle burns (a form of reptilian hibernation) in early 2022 and is not in public view, but will be later in the winter
- It is said that spring in the desert officially begins when it comes out of its burrow; SoCal school kids can guess when she might emerge
BALL DROPS, fireworks, special announcements, celebratory messages? At the end of 2021, we’ve been keeping a close eye on a lot of wonderful things, those great forward-looking moments that tell us the future is on the way. But now our focus is on the desert, specifically Palm Desert, specifically The zoo and the gardens of the living desert, the long-standing home of one of the best-known shells on the planet. We mean “celebrities”, of course, but we’re talking about Mojave Maxine, a colossally awe-inspiring creature that just might be the Punxsutawney Phil of California. Why? Because, like the groundhog that sees the shadows of Pennsylvania, Maxine has become something of a diviner, at least when it comes to predicting the onset of spring. But rather than spy on its own shadow, the turtle emerges from its burrow when spring is upon its door, at least in its desert environment.
CURRENTLY MISTS, that’s how reptiles hibernate, in early 2022, but there’s an excitement building way beyond its burrow. This anticipation in love with animals? That’s thanks to the Mojave Maxine Emergence Contest, an adorable annual contest created for school children in Southern California. Students will guess when they think Maxine will show her sweet face, hoping to land on the right day and at the right time. What about the kid who does just that? Cool: The student’s class will receive t-shirts to celebrate the fun victory, as well as a virtual tour led by a biologist (and, oh yeah, a desert turtle will make a rad cameo too).
MAXINE MAVEN, Read more about that famous shellebrity now, when it might emerge (that was Jan. 18, 2021), and how you can see it, at The Living Desert after its annual misting is over.